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Jeff Johnson: The Art of Falling

Jeff Johnson is a skilled, big-toned musical bassist who has worked with Chet Baker, Julian Priester, Billy Hart, Bud Shank and Charlie Rouse. On The Art of Falling he’s in a quartet setting with saxman Hans Teuber, drummer Billy Mintz and pianist Randy Porter.

This is a very open, airy date. Johnson concentrates on playing counter lines rather than stating the beat and Mintz functions more as a colorist than timekeeper. Teuber impresses with his alto efforts. He’s melodic, inventive and has a pure, sweet tone, reminiscent of the work of early Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond and Billy Drewes. Porter, a lyrical, economical player has a style that’s rooted in the Bill Evans approach, but he’s worked out an individual variant on it.

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